This landmark piece of personal research by A.A. historian Dick B. will tell you the books that early AAs really read.
One or two authors have posted lists of what AAs read in 1939, 1940, 1941, etc.
But the important books--the ones that shaped Alcoholics Anonymous when it was formed in June, 1935 are set forth in full right in this little book. It is buttressed by the statements of some early AAs that they read everything that they could get their hands on.
Not quite. When Dr. Bob was avidly reading Christian literature, he was circulating it among the pioneer AAs. On or two authors have deftly tried to avoid the impact by placing undue emphasis on the Upper Room--a daily devotional.
But as you will see, the daily devotionals which were actually read in early A.A. included the following: "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers, "Daily Strength for Daily Needs," E. Stanley Jones' Abundant Living and Victorious Living, Thomas A Kempis the Imitation of Christ, Henry Drummond's The Greatest Thing in the World, the Upper Room and dozens of other books specifically recommended and circulated by Dr. Bob, Dr. Bob's wife Anne, and Henrietta Seiberling.
See Dr. Bob and His Library, 3rd ed. www.dickb.com/drbob.shtml; Anne Smith's Journal 1933-1939, www.dickb.com/annesm.shtml; and Henrietta B. Seiberling, Ohio's Lady with a Cause www.dickb.titles; New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker and A.A. www.dickb.com/newlight; The Good Book and the Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible